Singapore has used RAFAEL’s LITENING surveillance and targeting pods on its F-16s for a number of years. In 2006, however, the city-state elected to equip its new F-15SG Strike Eagles with Lockheed Martin’s long-range Sniper ATP pods instead. Now the MINDEF has decided to add Sniper ATP pods to its 2-seat Lockheed Martin F-16D Block 52+ fighters, which may become part of a broader F-16 modernization drive.
The contract was undertaken as a direct commercial sale, instead of a Foreign Military Sale required for items classified as war materiel/”munitions”. The contract includes integration, spares, support equipment and integrated logistics support, and the pods will begin delivery in 2010. Contract values were not disclosed. Lockheed Martin release.
Lockheed Martin has orders for Sniper ATPs from 9 international customers (Belgium, Britain – Harriers only, may add Tornado aircraft, Canada, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Saudi Arabia, and of course Singapore), and from the USAF, whose F-15E Strike Eagles have found them very useful in Iraq. RAFAEL/Northrop Grumman’s LITENING pod family had defined this market for a long time thanks to its affordable pricing and a wide feature set, and it is still receiving international orders as Northrop Grumman prepares to roll out a 4th generation version. Lockheed’s Sniper ATP appears to be mounting a very strong bid to secure future leadership in this segment, however, and the total value of its 2001 USAF contract alone could exceed $850 million.